Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Letters To My Customers - Part 2

Dear 'Why Aren't You Open New Year's Day?' Customer,

You know, I thought I really hated 'Are You Open Christmas Day' customer, but I think I just might hate you more. Like I told that guy, STOP CALLING US EVERY F-ING YEAR & ASKING THE SAME F-ING QUESTION! We have never, and will never, open New Year's Day, and we don't give two sh*ts that you think it's 'bad for business' for us to be closed. Trust me, we'd rather lose one day's business than have to put up with you & your hung-over friends.


Dear 'Hugo Boss Perfume Wearing' Customer,

I must say, you have great taste in perfume, but is it necessary to drop the whole bottle on yourself? I mean, it's nice that you smell good, but where is your limit, man? Even way back in the kitchen, your scent is beyond intoxicating, and that's incredibly dangerous for those of us handling sharp objects. Seriously, I could accidentally cut myself while chopping vegetables, and I don't think that you'd appreciate my fingers in your salad. So, let me assure you that a quick spray or little dab behind the neck is more than enough perfume to attract attention. Lastly, I beg you to never hug me hello or goodbye ever again because I find it truly unpleasant having to smell like you for a good week afterwards.


Dear 'Allergic to Garlic' Customer,

Of all the possible kinds of restaurants that you could have gone to for dinner, why did you choose an Italian restaurant? Surely, you must be aware that we lace everything with garlic. I mean, exactly how do you expect us to serve you a meal without our food making you go into anaphylactic shock? Seriously, please do me and all other Italian restaurant owners a favour & go elsewhere the next time you decide to go out for dinner.

Best Wishes,

Dear 'This Isn't Spicy Enough' Customer,

Could it be that a whole bottle of Tabasco sauce, six jalapeño peppers, and a handful of chilies in your pasta dish the last time you were in for dinner were enough to finally shut you up once and for all? Well, I certainly hope so because we were choking on the fumes in the kitchen for a good 20 minutes afterwards, so actually ingesting that fiery meal must have surely done away with your internal organs. In fact, I bet that's why we haven't heard from you since that night. You must still be on the toilet sh*ting your insides out.

Happy New Year,

Monday, December 29, 2008

Double Duty

In the comments section of my Once Upon A Night In The 80's post, I mentioned that I haven't been able to blog as often as I would like because work's been super busy. What I didn't tell you is that things are extra hectic because I've been doing double duty for just over a month now. You see, back in November, a good friend of mine called begging me to help out at his deli/grocery Monday-Wednesday because he just couldn't seem to find someone who actually wanted to work for a living. He figured that since we don't open for lunch on those three days anymore, I could give him a hand, especially with the holiday season coming up fast. As someone who knows how difficult it is to find hardworking, reliable employees, I really felt for the guy, so I told my friend yes. I can’t get into anymore details right now, but I will have deli related posts coming soon, I promise.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What Holiday Cookie Are You?

You guys won't believe what I found out today. I'm a jam filled cookie! lol

Have some fun & take the quiz yourself by following the link at the end of this post. Don't forget to come back here and leave a comment letting me know which cookie you turned out to be.


You Are a Jam Filled Cookie

You are an idea person.
You're always thinking up something new.

You're also quite persuasive. People are drawn to you and adopt your beliefs.

You are energetic and ambitious. But most of all, you are charming.

You are a natural leader, and you are ready to lead!

What Holiday Cookie Are You?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Letters To My Customers

'Tis the season, as you all know, which means things at work are a whole lot nuttier than usual, especially when it comes to my customers. Sure, I know it’s a stressful time of year for many, but enough already. Seriously, I’d like to tell them off, but that wouldn't be very professional. Instead, I have composed a few letters to vent my frustration.

Dear 'Mathematically Challenged' Customer,

Thank you for choosing our restaurant as the location for your Christmas party this year, but we are unable to accommodate your group of 88 people. As I have already explained, we only have room for 50 guests maximum, so why do you continue to call & insist that we find a way to seat everyone? I understand that you 'don’t mind if things are a little tight,' but this does not change the fact that we do not have enough tables & chairs for 88 people. In other words, once a little more than half of your guests are comfortably seated in our cozy little establishment, the rest would be left standing outside, and I don’t think that they would appreciate that seeing as it is well below zero degrees this time of year. Yes, I know 'it’s Christmas time,' but we’re chefs, not miracle workers. There is no way that we can 'fit you in' no matter how hard we try. So, either you cut down your guest list to the maximum number that we can accommodate, or you find somewhere else to have your get-together. At this point, I highly recommend the latter.

Peace on Earth,

Dear 'Are You Open Christmas Day?' Customer,

We are flattered that you wish to treat your family & friends to dinner at our restaurant, but we are not, have never been, and will never be, open Christmas Day. As such, I would appreciate it if you would STOP CALLING US EVERY F**KING YEAR & ASKING THE SAME F**KING QUESTION BECAUSE I REALLY HATE YOU, SERIOUSLY!


Dear 'Do You Have A Turkey Special?' Customer,

I'm so glad that you enjoy our holiday specials, but turkey isn't one of them. I realize that it’s hard for you to wrap your turkey obsessed brain around this fact, but it’s not part of Italian tradition to have turkey dinner for Christmas. In fact, my mother has never cooked a turkey in her life & flat out refuses to make one for anyone, including her own family. Therefore, I strongly suggest that you stop calling with the intent of making her change her mind, otherwise I will be forced to hunt you down & remove your giblets.

Happy Holidays,

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Fashion Rocks

The other night I got a chance to watch Fashion Rocks (it was being repeated), an award show that incorporates fashion, music, and art – three of my fave things. The performers actually sing on this show, unlike the AMAs (lip synching anyone?). One thing that stuck out for me was Beyonce performing At Last – made famous by the amazing Etta James, who was actually sitting in the audience. There aren't too many of the great Jazz legends alive, so I was really moved to hear Beyonce do the song justice, and I look forward to seeing her play Etta James in the movie Cadillac Records. I’ll probably end up buying the soundtrack (I love soundtracks) as well.

My second fave performance of the evening was Fergie singing the Blondie hit Call Me with Debbie Harry. I actually can’t stand Fergie, but Debbie Harry I love, and she totally made that whole performance for me. Back in the 80’s (before that night I just told all of you about), I actually got a chance to see Blondie live in a small bar type venue, and I was able to get my copy of Parallel Lines, their most famous album (yes, as in vinyl... it was a picture disc album), autographed by Debbie Harry, which is still so totally freakin' cool to me even now. :)

Another performance that I really enjoyed was Kid Rock, and Lynyrd Skynyrd singing Sweet Home Alabama. Kid Rock also sang with R&B/Soul singer Mary J Blige (love her), and watching those two rock it out goes to show that, just like with fashion, there are no boundaries. I mean, just like we can piece together different styles of clothing to create new looks, we can mix up different music genres to create new sounds. It makes sense then to put together an award show that combines these forms of expression, don’t you think?

Anyway, I really enjoyed the show. Did any of you see it?


Friday, December 12, 2008

Once Upon A Night In The 80's

In the late 80’s, about a week after my grandmother died, I was pretty much on the way to a nervous breakdown, so I went on a drug binge (I was young, forgive my stupidity), determined to make it all go away. Why am I telling all of you this? Well, I was talking to Eddy the other night about these dreams that she’s been having about her dad (that’s my Uncle who just passed), and something that Eddy said made me flashback to that week. I couldn't recall all the details, however, (no big surprise, considering the condition I was in), so I asked my sister if she remembered anything. Thankfully, her memory is much better than mine, and she helped me piece things together. In order for this story to make any sense, though, I need to back up even further into my past, so here goes…

When I was a child, an Aunt of mine who was very dear to me passed away. She’d been ill for quite some time and there was nothing more the doctors could do for her. Saying goodbye to her broke my heart, but we had to let her go. Not long after death, I started seeing her all the time in the middle of the night. (No, I was not on drugs at the time.) She would appear seated at the end of my bed & she’d talk to me, only I could never hear what she was saying. I just saw her lips moving, and somehow I could read them. She would tell me to be good, to stay close to my sister, and that she would be there for me if ever I lost my way.

OK, fast forward a good ten years to the week after my grandmother died. Basically, I had this death wish. Nothing made sense. No one could reach me or reason with me. I was in total darkness & wanted out of the world, literally. So, on a cold (and I mean super cold) winter's night, I ingested two full hits of acid, then took off to get super trashed with my sister at one of the nightclubs we used to go to. While I was there trippin' the light fantastic, I happened to glance up at this very long staircase that led to the second floor and had myself one heck of a vision. Floating down the stairs in my direction was my Aunt surrounded by the most amazing white glow. I knew I was high & all, but holy sh*t!!!! I started squeezing my sister’s hand and screaming…

Me: She’s coming!! She’s coming!!!!!

Sister: Who?

Me: Zia (which means Aunt in Italian) is coming!!!

Sister: WHAT?

Me: Look, now she’s right beside me!!

Sister: OMG, JB, snap out of it. You’re just high. Stop hallucinating.

Me: No! Look, she is right here! Can’t you see her?

Of course, all my sister could see was me pointing at nothing & acting like a crazy person, which means she definitely didn't see my Aunt reach out & grab my hand.

Sister: JB, it’s the f**king drugs. No one’s there.

It might have looked like I was staring wide eyed into thin air to her, but what she didn't know was that my Aunt had not only grabbed my hand, but she had also begun speaking to me.

Aunt: Please, JB, you need to stop doing this. You are going to kill yourself. This is not your time. You have to stop now. Come.

Clearly, it had to be the drugs messing with my mind, but, at the same time, I honestly felt her hand holding mine & pulling me through the maze of people partying the night away. Meanwhile, I totally forgot that I was still hanging onto my sister with my other hand, which meant I was dragging her right along with me.

Sister: JB! Where the h*ll you going?

Where I went was outside into the freezing cold, and the frosty air hit me like a slap in the face.

Sister: Holy sh*t, stop! Are you crazy?

I finally let go of my sister, which was a good thing because my next step sent me slippin' & slidin' on some ice and flying head first into the bumper of a car. In the 80’s, cars had steel bumpers, not plastic, so believe you me it freakin' hurt. I looked up expecting to see my Aunt, but there was only my sister reaching down to pick me up. I don’t know how she managed to get me to my feet without falling on the ice herself, but she did. She then hauled my a** into one of the taxi’s that was parked outside the club, and that was the end of our evening.

The next morning, I woke up with a wicked bump on my head, the most intense hangover a human could possibly endure, and my Aunt staring at me. No, not another vision, I mean her picture, which still sits on my bedside table even now. I know I can’t prove that she saved my life all those years ago, but I truly believe that I wouldn't be here telling this story today if my Aunt hadn't guided me out of the club that night. If I would have stayed and got super drunk like I’d planned, there’s no doubt in my mind that the mix of drugs (which I never touched again after that night, by the way) & alcohol would have stopped my heart. I know that’s what I thought I wanted at the time, but I’m so glad that it didn't happened.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Trust: My Word of the Month

Trust is like a mirror. Once it’s broken, you never look at it the same again.
- Anonymous

Definitions for the word 'trust' found on the Web:

- have confidence or faith in a person or plan, etc
- allow without fear
- believing in the honesty and reliability of others
- expect and wish
- extend credit to

If you've been reading my blog since August, then you know what happened with my Ex and HWSNBN. Never have I thought about trust as much as I have since those two turned my life upside down & inside out, which is why I chose it as my word of the month for December. You see, I've never had a problem trusting people, but it's not so easy for me now after what I've been through. This really saddens me because I believe that trust is very important in a relationship, no matter who it’s with (ex. lover, friend, etc), and I don't want to go through life with my guard up all the time.

How important is trust to you?


Sunday, December 7, 2008

"I Want To Make An Inquiry"

Last month, my sister decided that she wanted to rent out one of her rooms, so we put an ad together & posted it. The next day she received a few e-mails from some interested people and forwarded them to me for my opinion. Amongst those e-mails was one that we found both amusing and strange. The woman who wrote it is supposedly university educated, but she definitely didn't come across that way. Heck, she didn't even bother to use spell check to clean up the spelling mistakes, not that it would have helped much. Anyway, I thought that I'd post her e-mail (with her name removed) here to see if some of you could enlighten me with your thoughts about it.

I want to make inquiry‏

Good Morning, I am
(name removed) and i am here Concerning the Room to let, can see with my eyes that is a nice and neat place to live......i am from Texas fort worth,i am self employed....,i am 32 years of age......i need to get a room because i have been coming down for while now just because of my Customers.......i will like to know more about place and is there a packing space around in the House....... More about me I am single never married ,born in Cleveland Ohio ,obtaind my degree in the University of South Carolina ,and recently live in Ohio, I find very much peace and tranquility there .I am into the Sales of Sculptures , beeds , gold , etc...I`m 5`7" 120 with a atheletic build , mentally stable, physicaly fit, a bunch of laughs, warm, caring, honst, good listening, God Fearinggg, and a positive person.I am real easy person to talk and a good listen. I love to play golf and I enjoy chilling` with my friend/family , I like going to the movies , or watching movies in my room , I like swimming , fishing, listening to music,I hope to read you and kindly send me some pictures (name removed)

OK, forget all of the spelling & punctuation errors (good thing she's university educated) for a minute, and let me get this straight: she's from Texas, was born in Ohio, went to university in South Carolina, and now lives in Ohio. Huh??? My head is spinning. Seriously, people, is she for real? I mean, would that e-mail impress any of you enough to let the woman live in your home? Frankly, I think the person who wrote that e-mail is someone with way too much time on her hands trying to waste some of ours. Heck, for all we know, a woman didn't even write it. Maybe some guy thought it would be funny. Whatever... What I want to know is who this person thinks she (or, he) is fooling because it sure isn't me or my sister. In fact, just for fun, we decided to see what would happen if my sister told the woman that she was doing background checks (because, as my sister put it, "There are a lot of crazy people out there..."), so she e-mailed the woman asking for the necessary information. Would you like to know what her response was? Well, I can't tell you because my sister never got one. Gee, I wonder why?


Friday, December 5, 2008

Distant Death

Distant looks
Distant touches
Empty love
Dances in the distance
Tip toe
Me over here
You over there
Noise wraps the air
Madness dances in my hair
Flakes of sky dust on the floor
Puddles of softness
Enveloped in darkness
Love is now a million tiny deaths
Repeating in my head
Hear my muffled cries for you
Calling out
I know you can hear me
See me
Feel me
Touch me
Save me…
Flowers lay on the casket
Eyes look down
Staring at my death
Hands stroke cold flesh
Six feet down
I reach the cold hard ground
The earth hits the casket
Good-bye, wicked life
I bid you adieu

© 2008 JB. All rights reserved.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Looking For Adventure?

I don’t know if anyone has noticed the link to The Couch Surfing Project here on my blog, but I just had to write about it today. The project was founded by four young guys (two from the US, one from France, and one from Brazil), and I think it’s a super cool idea. If you want and/or like to travel & learn about other cultures, couch surfing might be for you.

How does it work? Well, all you have to do is join the community (aka register), go through a security check (aka get verified), make a connection with someone who’s hosting where you want to travel to (aka couch search), and you could be sleeping at their place for free instead of paying to stay at a hotel. There are even jobs available! No joke! The more I read about it, the more I want to escape my crazy soap opera of a life.


Monday, December 1, 2008

Tagged! - 8 Things About Me

My new buddy, the lovely Indy (Hey, what’s up, girl?), tagged me the other day, which means I have to reveal 8 things about myself to all of you. I also have to tag 8 people to do the same, so that’s where I’ll start.

Tag, you’re it:
  • Katie Leigh
  • Scott
  • Jeff
  • Jerry
  • Rory
  • MizD
  • Lux
  • TUW

Now, about those 8 things:

1. I am a total closet case Celine Dion fan. There, now I feel so much better. She is my guilty pleasure. I really love her French songs, and right now I can't stop listening to her new album.

2. I have loved & lost, and the loss still torments me even as I type this.

3. I love jeans, especially designer jeans. At last count, 16 pairs.

4. Some of the greatest gifts in my life are my parents, sister, and close friends (especially my roommate, who is the brother I never had).

5. I have a passion for music that I can't even begin to tell you about. Music comes with me everywhere I go & keeps me sane.

6. I am a kind hearted person who always tries to see the good in people.

7. I believe that trust is very important in a relationship.

8. I still sometimes cry myself to sleep at night because of #2.


Friday, November 28, 2008

P.S. I Hate Alfredo!

When I got to work today, my mother was making Alfredo sauce. No one, and I mean no one, can make Alfredo like this crazy Italian woman can. Well, at least that’s what she thinks. Back in the day, when we first started the restaurant, I would agree. Now, however, I’m not so sure. I could say something about it, but, trust me, there’s no point. The best I can do when it comes to Alfredo is offer to stir it for her because you have to keep at it for a while before it’s ready to come off the heat, and her arm (which is sore from years of cooking… arthritis...) can only take so much before it feels like it’s about to fall off. So, that’s what I was going to do, but first I needed a coffee.

Me: Morning, ma. I’m going to make myself an espresso. Would you like one?

Mother: If it’s no problem.

If it’s no problem? Great, I've been here less than 5 minutes and she’s throwing punches already.

After I made coffee, I went to put on my armor (full body for today) and headed for the kitchen.

Me: Can I stir that for you, ma?

No response, just a look that would scare even unborn children.

Me: What’s that look for?

Mother: You have something else to do, like go write that stuff you write on your computer?

Me: Why, do I need a stirring degree for Alfredo?

Mother: JB, stop bothering me.

Me: Ma, please. I can see your arm hurts. Let me stir the Alfredo. I swear I won’t steal your job from you.

Mother: Oh my God, please, I’m not handicapped. Go blag.

Me: Blog, ma. It's blog.

Mom: Blag. You talk about me, eh? You say bad things about me. Your sister told me.

Me: Oh, you believe her, the women that forgot to tell us she changed religions & got married (a long story… not going there right now)?

Mother: Don’t be like that. She made a mistake.

Me: You call that a mistake? You’re kidding me, right?

Mother: JB, you talk about me, I know.

Me: Stop changing the subject.

Meanwhile, she isn't even looking at me. She’s still stirring the Alfredo, holding the freakin' spatula with all her might, just in case I attempt to pry it out of her hands.

Me: Ma, are you going to let me help you or are we going to play this game all day?

Mother: What is this blag? Why you tell strangers my business & call your sister ‘Bitter’? You talk to people you don't know. You go crazy?

Me: Why are you asking me? As for Bitter, I call her that because she is bitter... and you’re controlling. Nice combo.

Mother: I no control you. And her, she get married when I was in Italy, so I no control her either. Then, she even get a divorce.

Me: Yeah, and how much did it cost us to get her divorced?

Mother: It’s OK, JB, you give me babies one day, OK?

Me: Stop it! I’m not giving you babies. Not now, not next week, and not for you.

Mother: You tell people on your blag you don’t want to give me no babies? You tell that?

Me: Oh my God, ma you make me nuts!!

(Enter, Bitter…)

Sister: Ma, as if she would have a baby. She is a baby. Here, let me finish the Alfredo for you, OK?

Without missing a beat, my mother hands over the spatula to her.

Me: So, what, you two are on the same side today? It’s you guys against me?

Sister: JB, why don’t you go blog instead of standing around. Or, even better, why don’t you go talk to people?

Mother: Ya, let’s go have another coffee.

Me: No, I don’t want to have coffee with you right now.

Mother: Come on. Tell me what you tell people about us.

Me: I tell people you guys are nuts and you're making me nuts.

Mother: So, why you don’t get married to a rich man and have kids? You can stay home like me.

Me: Uh, hello? Dad was always out somewhere and you worked two jobs. No one was home. What, all of a sudden you got Alzheimer’s?

Mother: Don’t make fun of those people. They forget. Me, I want to forget, but I can’t because I have you to remind me. You just like him. Thank God I have your sister.

Me: Oh, today you thank God you have Bitter?

Mother: What? You jealous?

They both grinned at me like Cheshire cats.

Me: I’m going to the office.

Mother: OK, go write another story, go.

I'd do just about anything to get the heck away from you two right now, I thought as I made my way to my desk with their cackling laughter trailing behind me.

Seriously, why do I bother?


P.S. I hate Alfredo! And, why the h*ll is it called Alfredo, anyway??

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

OMG, I'm A Mess! - Part Two

Lately, while I’m working, I've been reflecting on some of my most recent blog posts, and I decided that it might be time for a follow up to OMG, I'm A Mess! (posted back in September). I know it’s my blog & I don’t need to explain myself, but I felt like saying something, so here goes. You see, most people I know would never subject themselves to what I do. By that I mean work with my EV mother & Bitter sister + allow my Ex who did me wrong to still have contact with me, but being surrounded by these people with deep issues (and who clearly need some serious therapy... I went for a year & it helped me deal) somehow makes me feel saner because it means that I'm not alone in when it comes to being a mess. In fact, these people somehow make me feel like my life is going in a somewhat straighter (take this part with a grain of salt) direction.

OK, I just read that back and it sounds rather nutty. Oh, well, it's true, so whatever. Bottom line, I might still be a mess, but at least I don’t regret anything. In the overall scheme of things, all I want is to be a better person and to leave this earth with my spirit full of joy & love.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Down The Rabbit Hole

I had a dream… not a Martin Luther King Jr kind of dream, but a ‘what the h*ll was that all about?’ kind of dream. I was in what seemed like a cave and I was surrounded by bunnies that were sticking white fur all over my body. They wanted me to join their bunny clan, or I guess ‘herd’ is the correct term. I tried to fend them off, but they wouldn't stop. I said to the bunny who appeared to be the leader…

JB: Listen, I'm human.

Leader: Don’t worry, you'll fit right in.

JB: No, I'm human.

Leader: Look, you are being transformed and looking more like us.

He turned me towards a large mirror, and I saw that I was beginning to look like a fluffy Easter Bunny kind of bunny. Wow, I thought to myself, I think I can pull off these ears. I don’t know why, but they looked really good to me. I couldn't stop caressing them.

Suddenly, I felt one of them grab my butt & stick a tail on me.

JB: Hey! No, I don't like it. It feels strange.

They tried to get me to sit down, but I couldn't with that puffy tail stuck to my butt.

JB: Stop, I don't want to join you. Can I keep the ears, though? Please, I like this look.

All of them (there must have been a good 25 or more) stood up on their hind legs and faced me.

Leader: JB, don't worry. We will guide you from this point on. Don't be afraid.

Well, let me tell you, standing up on their hind legs made them a good 7 feet tall and they looked pretty damn scary to me. All I wanted to do was get the heck out of there. I turned to face what looked like the way out and made a run for it.

Next thing I know, I was on a beach and the sand was freakin' hot. I thought for sure it would burn the skin off my feet. I looked back to see if the bunnies were after me, and was relieved that there was no sign of them. Whew!! I then quickly went over to the water and stepped in. It felt so good… very cool, very refreshing.

As I walked along the water’s edge, I was distracted by the view and almost didn't notice that a man was sitting in the sand. He appeared to be meditating, so I was just going to go around him, but then he turned to speak to me.

Man: Hi JB (he had an Indian accent). I have been waiting for you. I am your guide to the next part of your journey.

JB: Do I know you?

Man: Yes, you do.

JB: From where?

Man: From inside your heart. I know your soul. I know your fears. I know where you are going.

JB: Did you see the bunnies?

Man: What are you talking about? I have been sitting on this beach waiting for you.

JB: Oh… sorry…

It was then that I noticed he had no arms or legs. How did he get here, I thought to myself. Again, he spoke.

Man: I am going to guide you, JB, you just have to follow. Are you ready?

All of a sudden, these incredibly huge angel-like wings came of out his back, and he took flight. I was completely mesmerized watching him fly off into the horizon, but what really got to me was when I heard him say, “Go now. Go follow your path.”

JB: My path? What does that mean? I thought you were going to guide me?

Next thing I know, I'm awake & staring at the ceiling through wet eyes. Tears? I don't remember crying.

Holy crap, I thought as I grabbed a Kleenex, talking 7 foot bunnies sticking fur on me, a really hot beach with very cool water, a flying Indian man with no limbs.... I must really need a vacation because that was one crazy a** dream.

The bunny ears did look good on me though… seriously.


Saturday, November 22, 2008


I don't know why, but I felt the need to get political today. Not too much, just enough to get my thoughts across. Truth is I actually don't talk politics all that much, but this has me upset.

Can someone please tell me why people are being told who to marry, who to love, who to do whatever with? Seriously, I want to know because I think that needing permission to marry someone you truly love is outrageous. I’m not writing this to get people’s undies in a knot, I just think that if I want to marry someone & have a family some day, it should be my choice… a free choice.

What do you think?


Friday, November 21, 2008

Tea Time With My Ex

If you've been following my blog from the beginning, then you know that I cut ties with my Ex back in September. Well, I somehow went and undid all that last weekend. I know, I know. What the hell was I thinking, right? Well, the last few weeks have been very difficult for me, so I guess I wasn't really thinking at all when she called (even though I told her we can’t be friends) and asked if I’d like to go out for tea. I shouldn't have gone, but I had a complete moment of utter weakness, and suddenly I really needed a tiny ponies fix. You see, not seeing my Ex drives me nuts, and seeing her makes me nuts. So, whatever, I’m nuts.

Before I get to our conversation over tea, I should probably back up a bit because what led up to it actually started when my uncle passed away. She’d called to say that she was sorry for my loss, and I was really feeling out of my mind at the time, so I totally went off on her. I mean, it was a super evil tirade. If anyone ever yelled at me the kind of things that I yelled at her that day, I would have told them to go straight to h*ll, but my Ex just took it like a punching bag. She also continued to call me for the next few days, until I finally had nothing more to yell about. Either she’s a masochist, really misses me, or both. I don’t know.

Anyway, back to going out for tea… We sat & talked for quite some time. Actually, my Ex did most of the talking. I mostly listened & observed. I don’t know if it’s because I was feeling extra sensitive myself, but I felt her sadness and remorse for the first time. She isn't the women that I once knew. The mess she created changed her. Suddenly, I just wanted to grab her, hold her in my arms, and tell her that everything was going to be OK, but the truth is that everything is not going to be OK any time soon. Plus, she scares me. I mean, even though I felt this sudden urge to comfort her, the fear I feel when I think about letting my guard down is still very strong. So, I have to wear my full metal jacket, my helmet, and anything else that knives can’t penetrate, and I pray that doing so isn't a mistake.

On and on she talked, apologizing to me, telling me how she doesn't like having me on the outside, until I just couldn't take it anymore. I told her that it didn't matter what she said to me because she’s the one that put me on the outside, and that she’s the one who was going home to that disgusting pig when we were finished having our tea. Again, she apologized, but I’d had enough. I quickly changed the subject by asking her if she’d had anymore of those weird dreams she’d told me about a couple of months ago. Well, her eyes lit up and...

My Ex: I had this dream about baby carrots growing all over my legs. (Did she just say 'baby carrots' ?)

Me: Uh, OK. What else?

My Ex: There were also these big black moles (Ewww!), and they left big holes on my body when I peeled them off. (Gross!!!)

Me: OK…

My Ex: Why are you looking at me like that?

Me: You scare me.

My Ex: Sorry. I scare me.

Me: I’m sure you do.

My Ex: JB, do you think I’m twisted? (Uh, just a little bit.)

Me: No, not all.

My Ex: In my dream book, all my dreams are about feeling guilty about the stuff I have done. I need to fix things. The past haunts me. J'étais très méchant avec toi. Je suis désolé. (translation: I was very nasty with you. I’m sorry.) I don’t deserve your friendship. I am disgusting.

Me: Are you asking me to disagree with you?

My Ex: Non, je suis dégoûté. (translation: No, I am disgusted.) I am disgusted with what I’m doing. This is why I have all these dreams. I am bad.

Yes, and I am stupid, I thought to myself. Seriously, what the h*ll was I doing? The conversation never changes. She’s still very sorry about what she did too me & I’m still subjecting myself to her ‘I’m so sorry’ speeches. It was definitely time to call it a night.

Before we headed out the door, she leaned over to hug me, and I actually felt a little nauseous. I never thought her touch could make me feel that way, but it did. As we parted, she asked if we could see each other again. I should have said no, but I heard the words “Sure, call me” come out of my mouth instead.

~ sigh ~

Clearly, I’m the masochist.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Today I Watched

There are days at work when everyone and their mother, father, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, cousin, best friend, neighbour and a slew of other people come busting through the doors begging for a table. There are also days when you can count the lunch reservations on one hand & the dinner reservations on the other. Today was one of those days. Since there wasn't much to do, I sat on the kitchen stairs watching my mother & sister doing what they could to keep busy. God forbid they take a break while they have the chance. No, they just had to argue about what food to prep & how to do it.

Why do they do this? Well, the long & the short of it is that my sister is a complete control freak and so is my mother. They're also both perfectionists. I, on the other hand, am neither of those things. I don't care too much about how we get something done, as long as we get it done. They always tell me that I don't take things seriously enough, and I just say, "Why, are the serious restaurant police going to arrest me for not taking my job seriously enough? Please, ladies, give me a break.”

I don’t understand why they have to make things so freakin’ complicated all the time. Back and forth they go, trying to one up each other. It’s never ending. My mother even tried to pull me into their drama by asking, "What are you looking at? You have something to say?" I just said, "No, I think you guys pretty much have it covered."

This non-bitter, non-aggressive, approach that I have really bothers them, but I don’t see any reason to get into it with those two, especially in a room with sharp objects at hand. So, I just watched them thinking about how it would make for great TV, and wondered who’d stab who first the closer they got to the knife block.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My Mother Is An EV!!

I’d like to preface this by saying that I love my mother. I really, really do, but the woman is an EV to the max. Only, she doesn't just complain, she asks you to do things & then proceeds to nag you until those things are done. As I said in last Friday's post, she has zero patience, and from the moment I walked into work today, she was on me like a fly on sh*t. I swear, even a fly gives up after a while, but not this woman. If only I had this 19th century vampire killing kit. God knows I could use one...

Mother: JB, I want you to take me to the bank.

Me: Ma, we are in the middle of lunch service.

Mother: It’s OK, your sister is here.

Me: But what if she gets salad orders? She can’t watch the stove & make salads at the same time.

Mother: I don’t care. I need to go to the bank.

Me: Please, let’s just wait until lunch is over. We can go at 2pm.

Clearly, that was not the response she was looking for because she gave me this look of pure evil. I think I saw blood forming in the corners of her eyes. I think in that moment of silence, she was summoning her evil army of minions to attack me from behind.

Mother: No!

Me: OK, OK.

I’ll do whatever you want, just take you fangs out of my neck, I thought to myself. (As if I would say that directly to her. I do value my life, you know.)

So, off we went to the bank. Actually, make that the banks because she had to go to all off them. Why, I have no clue. I’m on a need-to-know basis when it comes to her, so I didn't bother to ask.

After all the banking, it was back to work, and I went straight to my office to make a few calls. I was on the phone for about a minute, when I suddenly heard my mother coming (she was yelling) in my direction. I asked the person I was speaking with to hold the line for a moment.

Mother: You finish with the phone yet? I need it.

Me: What do you mean? I asked you in the car if you were going to need the phone when we got back here and you said no.

She didn't even answer. Instead, she proceeded to busy herself by going through some papers on my desk.

Me: Ma, are you looking for that invoice that you were telling me about? I will find it for you as soon as I’m done.

Mother: I want it now & I need the phone.

OH---MY---GOD!!! I was about to pop a blood vessel in my head. She literally stood there while I told the person on the line that I would have to call them back.

Mother: Finally. I use the phone now.

No sh*t, you EV, you sucker of my last drop of blood, I thought to myself, and it’s not even Friday. ~ sigh ~

Mother: Oh, and don’t forget to make the changes for the bills on the internet for me. I ask you for that since Monday.

Me: Excuse me, ma, but today’s only Tuesday. I’m going to do it, OK? Didn't I do all that other stuff for you?

Mother: You’re supposed to do it for me, I’m your mother.

Me: Right. Well, I hope you don’t need anymore blood from me today because I’m tapped out.

Uh oh, there was that look of pure evil again. Time to shut up before it’s too late, I thought to myself, and quickly found her the invoice she wanted. She took it and was gone, but not for long.

Mother: You did what I asked you?

Somebody save me!


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Advertising: Getting Creative

Do you ever think about what goes into creating ads for the endless sea of products for sale in the world? Well, on one of my many sleepless nights, I accidentally came across two blogs (Clusta & ...,staat) that I totally love, and discovered just how much time & effort is invested by companies that design ad campaigns. Forget for a minute about advertisers trying to sell you stuff that you don’t need by making you think that you need it. I hate being brainwashed just as much as the next person. Instead, look beyond the selling aspect to the art, the photography, the digital media, etc. Talk about super creative concepts. I mean, the work that the design people do is really phenomenal. I wish I had that kind of talent.

If you like what you see on those blogs, you can see even more by checking out the official sites for those two companies. Here are the links:

Clusta (client's include Kellogg’s, Smirnoff, Wrigley's, etc. )

...,staat (client's include Nike, Levi’s, Heineken, etc.)


Friday, November 14, 2008

Anger Management - No Joke!

Just after lunch last Friday, I thought for sure I was going to kill someone with my bare hands. I'm so not kidding, people. My mother I had been on my a** all week because she had a bunch of stuff that she needed to do, and when she wants something done it has to be right away, or she will just keep harping about it until it's done. She's got no damn patience that woman. I also had to help my sister deal with some issues from a past relationship (she volunteered me for the job... gee, thanks so much... not!), and she was extra bitter, so imagine how much fun that was for me. Then, I had some business related stuff to settle (I'll save that maddening story for another day), and there was just no pleasing anybody.

God, help me!! I'd been going & going like the freakin' Energizer Bunny all day, and I seriously needed a moment alone -- ASAP. So, I decided to go check my e-mail. When I opened up my inbox, the subject line "Anger Management" was staring back at me. Is this some kind of a joke, I thought to myself. Then, I clicked to read the message.

Anger Management

When you occasionally have a really bad day, and you just need to take it out on someone, don't take it out on someone you know, take it out on someone you don't know. I was sitting at my desk when I remembered a phone call I'd forgotten to make. I found the number and dialed it.

A man answered, saying "Hello." I politely said, "This is Chris. Could I please speak with Robyn Carter?" Suddenly, a manic voice yelled out in my ear, "Get the right f***ing number!" and the phone was slammed down on me. I couldn't believe that anyone could be so rude.

When I tracked down Robyn's correct number to call her, I found that I had accidentally transposed the last two digits. After hanging up with her, I decided to call the 'wrong' number again. When the same guy answered the phone, I yelled, "You're an a**hole!" and hung up.

I wrote his number down with the word 'a**hole' next to it, and put it in my desk drawer. Every couple of weeks, when I was paying bills or had a really bad day, I'd call him up and yell, "You're an a**hole!" It always cheered me up.

When Caller ID was introduced, I thought my therapeutic 'a**hole' calling would have to stop. So, I called his number and said, "Hi, this is John Smith from the telephone company. I'm calling to see if you're familiar with our Caller ID Program?" He yelled, "NO!" and slammed down the phone. I quickly called him back and said, "That's because you're an a**hole!" and hung up.

One day, I was at the store getting ready to pull into a parking spot. Some guy in a black BMW cut me off and pulled into the spot I had patiently waited for. I hit the horn and yelled that I'd been waiting for that spot, but the idiot ignored me. I noticed a "For Sale" sign in his back window, so I wrote down his number. A couple of days later, right after calling the first a**hole (I had is number on speed dial) I thought that I'd better call the BMW a**hole, too. I said, "Is this the man with the black BMW for sale?" He said, "Yes, it is." I asked, "Can you tell me where I can see it?" He said, "Yes, I live at 34 Oaktree Blvd, in Fairfax. It's a yellow ranch, and the car's parked right out in front." I asked, "What's your name?" He said, "My name is Don Hansen." I asked, "When's a good time to catch you, Don?" He said, "I'm home every evening after five." I said, "Listen, Don, can I tell you something?" He said, "Yes?" I said, "Don, you're an a**hole!" Then I hung up, and added his number to my speed dial, too.

Now, when I had a problem, I had two a**holes to call. Then, I came up with an idea. I called a**hole #1. He said, "Hello." I said, "You're an a**hole!" but I didn't hang up. He asked, "Are you still there?" I said, "Yeah." He screamed, "Stop calling me." I said, "Make me." He asked, "Who are you?" I said, "My name is Don Hansen." He said, "Yeah? Where do you live?" I said, "A**hole, I live at 34 Oaktree Blvd, in Fairfax, a yellow ranch. I have a black Beamer parked in front." He said, "I'm coming over right now, Don. And you had better start saying your prayers." I said, "Yeah, like I'm really scared, a**hole," and hung up.

Then, I called A**hole #2. He said, "Hello?" I said, "Hello, a**hole." He yelled, "If I ever find out who you are..." I said, "You'll what?" He exclaimed, "I'll kick your a**!" I answered, "Well, a**hole, here's your chance. I'm coming over right now."

I hung up and immediately called the police, saying that I lived at 34 Oaktree Blvd, in Fairfax, and that I was on my way over there to kill my gay lover. Next, I called Channel 9 News about the gang war going down in Oaktree Blvd, in Fairfax. Then, I quickly got into my car and headed over to Fairfax. I got there just in time to watch the two a**holes beating the crap out of each other in front of six cop cars, an overhead news helicopter, and surrounded by a news crew.

NOW I feel much better. Anger management really does work.

To the person who sent me this story (you know who you are), I can't thank you enough. I needed to read it more than you can ever know. It's been so long since I laughed that freakin' hard. Priceless, just priceless!

Now, if you'll all excuse me, I need to find a couple of a**holes I don't know & get their phone numbers.


Monday, November 10, 2008

An Uber Amazing Blog Award: This Is A First!!

When I checked in here to work on a new post, I didn't know that it was going to be this one. I was going through my comments from the night before, when... WHAT??!! I was completely shocked (in a good way) to find out that Ken at Dad to Two gave me an Uber Amazing Blog award! I thought that being named Cool Blog of the Week (5th post on that page) in October by Ken (who received his first blog award a few days ago -- Kudos, Ken!!) was exciting, but this is super exciting!! Thank you, Ken, you totally made my day!

Now, exactly what is an Uber Amazing Blog award? Well, it's an award that's given to sites that:

  • inspire you
  • make you smile & laugh or maybe give amazing information
  • are a great read
  • have an amazing design
  • for any other reason(s) you can think of makes them uber amazing

The rules associated with this award are as follows:

  • put the logo on your blog or post
  • nominate at least 5 blogs that for you are Uber Amazing
  • let them know that they have received this Uber Amazing award by commenting on their blog
  • share the love and link to this post and to the person you received your award from

So, without further ado, here are my picks for the Uber Amazing Blog award:

1. Petite Anglaise

This blog is written by a British woman who's been living in Paris (I love Paris!) for over 10 years. I actually discovered her blog by accident back in July of this year. I was browsing around a book store, when a cover with the Eiffel Tower on it caught my eye. So, I picked it up & started reading about the author, Catherine Sanderson. Turns out her blog got to be so popular that she was offered a book deal. At the time, I'd only been thinking about blogging, but after reading her story, I decided that it was time to go for it. Catherine, you inspire me. Thank you.

2. The Lucky Nest

This blog is written by Ellie Moore. She's a freelance writer/editor, and I really enjoy her writing. She is a fellow "life" blogger (i.e. she blogs about her life & life in general), and always cracks me up.

3. Not The Rockefeller's

This blog is written by Rene, another "life" blogger. Like me, she hasn't been blogging for very long, but she actually has time for two blogs (girl, I don't know how you do it with work, and kids, and hubby -- kudos to you!), and I think she's doing great. Check out her latest post about family (which totally speaks to me... gee I wonder why - LOL), and you'll quickly see why it's so easy to relate to her.

4. Clever Girl Goes Blog

This blog is written by the very witty Tia. She was recently Blog of Note, so it's possible that you've already heard about her. I love the design of her blog & she never fails to make me laugh out loud. Tia, you rock, girl!

5. Chelsea Talks Smack

This blog is written by Chelsea, who's looking for "a nice single guy, who’s a gentleman, and has great arms" (just thought I'd help you out, girl - lol). She's young, fresh, funny, and I love reading about her views on life.

Well, while all of you are checking out those blogs, I'm off to notify the 5 fantastic women behind them that they & their blogs are uber amazing.


Friday, November 7, 2008

Change: My Word of the Month

I know a change is gonna come, oh yes it will. - Sam Cooke

Definitions for the word 'change' found on the Web:

- to make different in some particular: alter
- to give a different position, course, or direction to
- to make a shift from one to another : switch
- to undergo transformation, transition, or substitution

As a Canadian, voting in the American election wasn't an option for me, but when I got up Tuesday morning, I wished for the first time in my life that I'd been born an American. I would never speak those words to my mother, but I wished it. I knew in my heart that Tuesday evening was going to be a historical night and I wanted to take part. What I ended up doing was having dinner with my sister and some friends. We prepared a really nice BBQ meal, toasted with wine & beer, and talked politics.

When dinner was over, I drove home with just enough time to get inside, turn on the TV, and hear Barack Obama named the 44th president of the United States of America. Even though there was no doubt in my mind that he would win, it was still such a rush to hear his name announced. As I listened to him speak, I couldn’t stop thinking about what it all meant. There was history unfolding before my very eyes. There was hope being manifested. There was proof that people want change. There was the voice of the nation saying, “Yes, we can.”

Barack Obama is one man, but he has people all over the USA who believe in him & what they can do together. He also has many Canadians like me who believe just as strongly.

Let’s go change the world. – Barack Obama


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Secret of the Sauce

My mother’s always said that the best kept secret in cooking is the one that doesn't exist. Well, if we have any cooking secrets in our kitchen it’s that you can use water in everything. Yes, folks, I said water. For example, my mother makes a great meat sauce (ditto for her tomato sauce), and when she puts some in the steam table to reheat for service, she dilutes it with water because it’s too thick. If she didn't do this, we would use double the amount of sauce every night. So, adding water means she doesn't have to make sauce as often, which means we save money.

Half water half sauce makes for something special, let me tell you. We argue about it all the time (big surprise), but she tells me and my sister to mind our own business because she knows what she’s doing. Well, she might be a genius in the kitchen when she’s on, but when she’s off, she’s so far off that there’s no GPS that can get her back on track. Take tomato sauce, for example. It should be red, right? On a good night, ours is a pinkish orange colour and fills the ladle like a watery soup, not a sauce. It’s hard for us not to stare as she scoops it up, but my mother just glares back at us with her ‘what the h*ll are you staring at’ look, like she’s daring us to challenge her. If we actually do say anything, the conversation usually goes something like this…

Me: Ma, that's too watery. It won’t stick to the pasta. We need to add more sauce.

Mother: You don’t know what you’re doing.

Me: Oh, I didn't know that over 20 years wasn't enough experience.

Mother: Don’t talk to me like that.

Me: But it looks like you left the sauce pot sitting under running water.

Mother: Stop being so smart.

Me: Sorry, I keep forgetting that I’m supposed to be more stupid around you.

Sister: Seriously, ma, we have 26 people to serve right now. I need more sauce.

Mother: You guys use too much sauce! I told you, you don’t know what you’re

Sister: OK, ma, we don’t know what we’re doing, but I still need more sauce to serve all these people!

Mother: Basta, Basta (translation: enough, enough)! I’m standing right here! Stop yelling! OK? I understand! You need more sauce!

Me: Finally! Who’s going to get it?

Sister: I can’t go with all of these pans on the stove.

Mother: You know something? You guys make me go crazy in here. I’ll go get it. OK? Just stop talking.

I know, all of this commotion over sauce is crazy, right? Well, this is what it's like working with a woman who got her start kickin' it old (make that very old) school. Sure, what she learned in kitchens way back when can be applied today, but they require a modern twist to make them work. Trying to make her understand that is the hard part. I mean, not only is the woman as stubborn as a mule, but she's also Italian (if you have European parents, you know what I'm talking about), so it's just about impossible to get through to her. Not for lack of trying though, believe me.

Anyway, there you have it, folks. The secret of the sauce is good old H2O.


Saturday, November 1, 2008

Thank You

Hello all, this is Eddy. I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who left condolence messages. They are much appreciated. We're still trying to get over the shock of it all. It's happening slowly, but it's still very unreal for us right now. We just can't wrap our brains around the fact that my father's gone. He had a lot more life to live, but when you're time is up on this earth, there's nothing that you can do.

Until next time,

P.S. Just to let you know, JB has a few blog posts in the works. By that I mean that the stories she wants to tell are swirling around her mind. It's just been hard for her to sit down & focus on writing them. A new restaurant related post will be coming though, so stay tuned.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Life Will Go On

This has been a incredible week for me and my family. Death came to us so unexpectedly and it has solidified a stronger & much thicker bond between all of us. Today and tonight we spent at my uncles wake.

To be honest it was really hard to be in a room with all these people that I haven't seen in 10 maybe 15 years that have known our families. This was a strange feeling for me, but also a calming feeling to know that they still remember and love this man. My uncle made a lot of friends in his life and tonight they came to pay their respects to him.

Death has a strange way of bringing people together. What I found the strangest was that as I sat alone for a few minutes watching, I observed people mingling, sipping coffee and talking, at the end of the room I could see my uncle in his coffin, just laying there kinda smiling at the whole thing.

I mean, really, all these people remembering him while he lay still in his last resting place right in front of my eyes. I got this weird eerie feeling come over me like I have never felt. I knew as I was looking at him he was looking at me. So I got up and went and knelt down in front of him and said "Bye, Zio. I will miss you and I love you. I promise I will watch over Eddy and Mic, forever. Never worry. I will always be there for the both of them".

Then I got up to touch his hand and walked away. The one thing that left an impression is that after I left his side I realised how cold he felt and how sad I felt knowing that I would never hear his voice or be able to touch him again. I thought life will go on, but today a life is gone.


Friday, October 24, 2008

RIP It's been a sad week

This week started off with bad news for my family. My uncle died unexpectedly on Monday. I haven't really wanted to post anything, but I felt that I should at least say a few words. My uncle was a father, a husband, a brother, and an all around good man, who was loved and respected.

He gave all he could to his family and the ones he loved and I will miss him deeply. He was also Eddy's father. Eddy is a rock, and this week I saw the rock roll and sway. This was hard on me, but I was happy to be there to stop the rock from going over the edge.

In times of sadness and loss, the one thing we have is our family and friends. Without them, what do we really have? This week I watched my family come to terms with the death of someone we loved and realised how precious and fragile life truly is.

Tell the people you love that you love them at every opportunity you have. Don't waste time anymore and just love because you may wake up one morning to find out that the person you loved is gone and can never come back, and you never told them you loved them enough, never took the time to hug them enough. Now it's to late.

Please stop wasting time. Tell everyone around you everyday what they mean to you and how they make you happy. Please just do it. Don't hesitate because it maybe the last time you have the chance to say it.

Zio (this means uncle in Italian), I will miss you everyday and I'm sorry that I didn't get a chance to say good-bye and tell you how much I loved you.



Friday, October 17, 2008

Laundry Guy vs. Bitter Sister

I have to say that Friday's are really special at work, and I don't mean that in a good way. Whenever Friday rolls around, it’s like something I can’t explain. What I do know is that it would take much too long for me to go into detail about the whole day, so I’m just going to share one particular story.

Every Friday, we get our table linens from our laundry service. You would think that the delivery would be rather uneventful, but it’s actually something that no one around here looks forward to. You see, the laundry guy that we have is a real jerk. None of us can stand him, especially my sister (aka Bitter). Whenever this guy shows up, he goes straight for the refrigerator & grabs a drink, like it's his own place and he can do whatever he wants. Then, he leans up against the bar & starts talking to my sister. I can’t begin to tell you how much this infuriates her.

Laundry Guy: So, what's new?

Bitter Sister: Since last week? Nothing. Why are you talking to me? Don't you have something to do, like the laundry?

Laundry Guy: Nope, I made this my last stop, so I could stay longer.

Bitter Sister: Well, can you just hand over the table cloths & stuff, so I can go through them?

Laundry Guy: In a minute. I want to talk to you first.

Meanwhile, my mother & I are watching all of this unfold from the kitchen, and doing our best not to laugh.

After a good 10 minutes, he finally does start handing out the linens, and it’s never the right amount. Considering the company he works for has been our laundry service for ten years, you would think that they would have the numbers down by now, but no. We are always short on napkins & table cloths, and often get a bunch of the wrong size table cloths as well. My sister is always in his face about it, but it doesn't help him bring the right order when he comes again. One time she actually told him that maybe he should go back to school and learn how to count. He said, "Relax, Laundry Nazi (his choice of word, not mine). You know I just deliver. I don’t count the linens. The ladies in the laundry room do the counting."

I swear I thought my sister was going to explode, but she just shoved the invoice in his face and told him to go get the linens we needed out of his truck. Every week, she has to send him back out to his truck. Personally, I don’t think it’s the ladies in the laundry room that mess up. I swear he just does it to get my sister all riled up because he has a thing for her. (Note to self, laundry guy, that is not the way to get my sister on your good side.) Speaking of which, he also always goes for a dump (I’m so not kidding) in our men's room (my sister cleans the bathrooms, so you see where I'm going with this) when he comes by. When he finally comes out of there (followed by the most heinous smell ever), he always flashes a huge grin at my sister, and says, "So, how about a cappuccino?" (OMG, is he for real??)

By this point, my sister’s had it. Her face gets flushed, her eyes narrow into pointy daggers, her lips flatten out into a straight line, and....

Laundry Guy: Aw, what's wrong? Not in a good mood today?"

(Stupid, stupid, laundry guy, don't push Bitter's buttons. I mean, even I'm ducking for cover, and I'm in the kitchen, ten feet away.)

Bitter Sister: I'm going for a cigarette.

Laundry Guy: Smoking is a bad & expensive habit. You should quit.

Bitter Sister: (under her breath) Go f**k yourself.

Unfortunately, her going outside for a smoke means that my mother & I have to listen to him go on and on (God, help us) about nothing, until my sister makes her way back inside and he starts talking to her again. (Does this guy ever learn?) When he does eventually make his way to the door, he always says, "Nice seeing you, ladies. This is my favorite restaurant. See you next week."

I'm telling you, if looks could kill....


Thursday, October 16, 2008

American Kids vs. Italian Kids: Can You Relate?

I thought I'd share this e-mail that's been going around. I don't know who wrote it, but he/she sure made me laugh.

Can you relate?


American Kids vs. Italian Kids

American kids: Move out when they're 18 with the full support of their parents.

Italian kids: Move out when they're 28, having saved enough money for a house, and are two weeks away from getting married... unless there's room in the basement for the newlyweds.

American kids: When their Mom visits them, she brings a Bundt cake, and you sip coffee and chat.

Italian kids: When their Mom visits them, she brings 3 days worth of food, begins to tidy up, dust, do the laundry, and rearrange the furniture.

American kids: Their dads always call before they come over to visit them, and it's usually only on special occasions.

Italian kids: Are not at all fazed when their dads show up, unannounced, on a Saturday morning at 8:00, and starts pruning the fruit trees. If there are no fruit trees, he'll plant some.

American kids: Always pay retail, and look in the Yellow Pages when they need to have something done.

Italian kids: Call their dad or uncle, and ask for another dad's or uncle's phone number to get it done.

American kids: Will come over for cake and coffee, and get only cake and coffee. No more.

Italian kids: Will come over for cake and coffee, and get antipasto, wine, a pasta dish, a choice of two meats, salad, bread, a cannoli, fruit, espresso, and a few after dinner drinks.

American kids: Will greet you with 'Hello' or 'Hi'.

Italian kids: Will give you a big hug, a kiss on your cheek, and a pat on your back.

American kids: Call your parents Mr. and Mrs.

Italian kids: Call your parents Mom and Dad.

American kids: Have never seen you cry.

Italian kids: Cry with you.

American kids: Will eat at your dinner table and leave.

Italian kids: Will spend hours there, talking, laughing, and just being together.

American kids: Know few things about you.

Italian kids: Could write a book with direct quotes from you.

American kids: Eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on soft mushy white bread.

Italian kids: Eat Genoa Salami and Provolone sandwiches on crusty Italian bread (for breakfast).

American kids: Will leave you behind if that's what the crowd is doing

Italian kids: Will kick the whole crowds' ass who left you behind.

American kids: Think that being Italian is cool.

Italian kids: Know that being Italian is cool.

American kids: Will ignore this.

Italian kids: Will forward this.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Ever Wonder What Really Goes On In A Restaurant?

When you go out to eat at a restaurant, you’re focus is probably on what you’re going to order, who you’re with, and what you’re talking about. It’s unlikely that you’re wondering about the people who work there and what goes on behind the door marked Employee’s Only. Or, maybe you do, I don’t know. As someone who’s worked in restaurants my whole life, I can tell you that there’s a lot more than meets the eye. Seriously, people, I have 30 years worth of stories that can compete with any best loved soap opera. So, stay tuned to my blog and get your fill of what really goes on in a restaurant.


P.S. Have you read any of my work related posts?

To Plastic Wrap or Not To Plastic Wrap?

Half Al Dente, Half Slightly More Cooked?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Hate Inside

I was going through my journal and found something that I wrote back in July of this year. As you're about to discover, I was in a very dark place at the time, so covered in hate that I couldn't even look at myself in the mirror. Now, three months later, a lot of that hate has been neutralized by love, which always comes in to remind me that it’s important to remember the good times.



The Hate Inside

My body is infested with hate,
Hate that came to me one cold December,
In the form of a woman
Disguised as love
She introduced hate to me slowly,
Lying to me,
But calling it love
Words of hate came from her lips,
Entered my ears,
And left their scars

I was once a kind soul,
Full of love, compassion, joy,
But hate drew me in, saying:
Let me release you
Let me give you some reprieve
Feel the hate
It will set you free
I said: No, I am a good person
Hate said: No, you're not

I tried to bury hate,
But hate came back,
Blanketed my very being,
And devoured the love I once had
Now, I need to hate,
Or I will die from hurt,
From heartbreak

I wake to hate
I bath in hate
I seep with hate
I relish the hate
I can’t breathe without hate

Hate made my skin dry
Hate made my bones ache
Hate turned my blood into poison

My eyes went black from hate
My hands only feel hate
My legs are the anchors of hate

My heart is the sewage system of hate,
Poisoning me slowly
With the venom it pumps out

Until all is settled,
Until I no longer need her hateful grasp on me,
Until hate finally drains
From the last drop of my black blood,
I will return hate to its rightful owner,
My beloved,
On a cold winter’s night

© 2008 JB. All rights reserved.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Half Al Dente, Half Slightly More Cooked?

I don’t know about everyone else, but for me pasta should be cooked al dente, which means that the pasta should have an ever so slightly firm texture when chewed. When pasta is over cooked, it expands and breaks quite easily, especially if you're trying to roll it onto your fork. I say roll it onto your fork because that's how it ought to be eaten, with the help of a spoon, if necessary. Do not cut the pasta into a million tiny pieces (unless you're feeding a child, then I can understand). Seriously, what’s up with that, people? You don’t cut your spaghetti or any long noodle.

Cutting pasta is actually something that drives my mother completely crazy. When she sees plates come back to the kitchen with the pasta looking absolutely murdered instead of eaten, it's an insult to her. As an Italian, she really takes in personally. For me it's a hoot to watch her get all worked up as she lists her Italian do's and don’t about how pasta should be eaten.

Anyway, where was I... Oh, yeah, when it comes to cooking pasta, my mother & sister always have the same discussion about whether it will be al dente or not. They can go on for a good half hour (if not more) about it. As I said, I like my pasta al dente, and I tell them that's how I think it should be cooked, but my mother says, "It's not about how you like the pasta. It can't be too hard or cooked too much. You understand, JB? Please stop being so smart." (OK, ma, I'll try to be more stupid.) Then, my sister says, "No way. I’m not over cooking the pasta. We are an Italian restaurant, and what kind of Italians cook their pasta to the point of it expanding? Then, when you strain it, the pasta looks like mush. Please!"

Back and forth they go, arguing about how to cook pasta. Meanwhile, I’m over in the corner laughing at the both of them, thinking: Holy sh*t, we have this fight at least once a week. What the hell is wrong with us? Finally, I have to butt in and tell them to just cook the freakin’ pasta because tomorrow is coming up fast and I want to go home. I tell them that a happy medium would half al dente, half slightly more cooked, and they both give me this look like I'm on freakin' on crack because what the h*ll does half al dente, half slightly more cooked mean anyway, right? Then, my mother says, "Please stop watching those cooking shows. They messing up your head & they making us look bad." Meanwhile, my sister is making faces at me from behind her. (Sometimes, we resort to being like small children when it comes with dealing with mama pasta dearest.) I tell them that we should have a cooking show because nobody would believe that for a complete hour we can discuss how to cook pasta for people who use a knife and fork to eat any noodle that is too long to roll onto the end of a fork, but my mother doesn't think anyone would believe us. Well, if she's right about one thing, it's that what you see on TV doesn't even come close to what goes on in a kitchen. Seriously, if Gordon Ramsey thinks he's running Hell's Kitchen, he can think again because we are the original Hell's Kitchen.


Friday, October 10, 2008


Watch it pass
Through faces of those you love to love,
Hate to hate

Their excuses based on time

Time has a strangle hold
On you,
On us,
On them

In the midst of chaos,
Time keeps a fine line
Between the here & now,
‘Til you’re out of time

Where does time go?
To the local drinking hole after 7pm?

What is time?
Who has time?
Why so little time?

Time stands still
Still stands still
Take your pills
Fill the holes in your soul

Is all this a time lapse,
An illusion brought on by time,
Created from time?

Time has taken your soul
To that dark empty place
Pop the last pill
Sleep long

Time is running out
Out is running in
In is standing still

Roll over
Wake up on time for your death,
For time has prepared your bed of dirt!

© 2008 JB. All rights reserved

Here We Go Again: Another E-Mail From My Ex

- to strive to achieve or reach
- to attempt (as the fulfillment of an obligation) by exertion of effort
- to work with set purpose

For those of you who don't know yet, I finally cut ties with my Ex. Although, as I said in a previous post, it seems that I wasn't clear enough when I told her that we can't be friends because she sent me yet another e-mail. I have not responded, nor will I, but I just had to blog about it because she actually tried to get to me today by sending me a quote. Meanwhile, she doesn't even understand it. Here's the e-mail:

Hi JB,

I copied
(copied what ??).... Sorry. I just want you to know, i don't want to loose your friendship, (like I said before, what part of 'we can't be friends' does she not understand?) when the day comes that you you are able to talk to me, i will be here... I just don't like the way it ended... (why, because it means that you can't have your cake & eat it too?) Please say something to me, i don't want to make you angry or to bring you in a bad place, (well, you're doing a d*mn good job) i just want to know how you are doing... (none of your freakin' business) (i don't know what the word endeovor means in the thought...) (yeah, and you can't spell it either)

"A guiding operational principle in my life [is that]...if frustrated in one's endeavor by a stone wall or any kind of blockage, one must find a way around--another route toward one's goal."
— E. Margaret Burbidge


It's a rather ironic quote coming from a person who keeps ramming her head into the 'we can't be friends' wall that I put up. Well, she can keep on ramming her head into it because I am not tearing it down.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Why Lie, Why?

"If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything." - Mark Twain

People do all sorts of things to avoid the truth. They lie, cheat, steal, kill, and just plain run as far as they can from it. The question that's been on my mind for about three days now is why do people lie? If anyone can answer this for me, I'd really like to know. These last two years of my life were turned upside down because two people that I trusted and called friends wove a web of lies so thick that I'm still uncovering all the layers.

Why do people lie? It’s bothering me so much. I can’t understand why it’s so hard to just be honest. Seriously, people, just be honest. It takes less effort to tell the truth than it does to lie because, when you lie once, you usually have to keep on lying in order to cover up the fact that you lied in the first place. Sometimes, you lie so much that you actually start believing that the lies are truth. How can this be right!? Why lie, why?

I have experienced first hand what lies can do. The saddest part is that the lies not only affected me, but also all of my friends and family on both sides of the lies. So, you see how when people assume it’s alright to lie how it can ripple through everything? It makes me sad that people don’t look at the big picture. If only they had the courage to be honest, but I guess that's just wishful thinking.

To all of you liars out there, maybe it’s time you start to right all the wrongs that you imposed on the people you hurt because they sure as h*ll weren't asking for the pain you caused. I guess to right your wrongs you would have to grow a spine because most of you are too spineless to face what you have done. You can keep living your lies, but in the end know that you will end up alone with only your lies to comfort you in the dark.


Introducing Eddy...

Finally, Eddy has posted something for me. This makes me so happy! Eddy is my cousin and my editor. I would like to say that without her, I couldn't do this blog. I mean it. So, thanks, Eddy, you're the best. Love you all around. You make my stories so much better.


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Choice: My Word of the Month

The strongest principle of growth lies in human choice. - George Elliot

There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them. - Denis Waitley

Definitions for the word 'choice' found on the Web:

- pick, selection (the person or thing chosen or selected) "he was my pick for mayor"
- selection, option, pick (the act of choosing or selecting) "your choice of colors was unfortunate"; "you can take your pick"
- alternative, choice (one of a number of things from which only one can be chosen) "what option did I have?"; "there no other alternative"; "my only choice is to refuse"

- the act of choosing : selection
- power of choosing : option
- a number and variety to choose among

'Choice' makes for an interesting word. A simple choice could cause a wardrobe malfunction, like pairing pink shoes with a yellow top (cute if you’re two years old, but totally ridiculous if you’re an adult… my apologies in advance if this is your taste). Making a choice can also be a little more complicated, such as deciding who you’re going to vote for in this year’s election. Now, what about when it comes to making a choice for someone else? This is where things can get really tricky, especially if you don't consider the consequences or feelings of the person you are making the choice for. I should know because a handful of people made a choice for me, and it turned my life into a disaster that could have been avoided had they simply let me make my own choice.

Something to think about.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Why Exercising My Right To Vote Was A Total Shocker

Hey all, this is Eddy sitting in for JB. She’s been asking me to write a guest post for a while now, so I figured today was as good a day as any. Here it goes…

Yesterday I went to an advanced poll to cast my vote for this year's election. As a new rule, we are required to prove both our identity & address, so I pulled out my driver's license to show the woman who was verifying voter information. Now I can't recall the last time I actually looked at my license, so imagine my surprise when I noticed that it had…EXPIRED!! (What!!?? Holy crap!! I've been driving around with an expired license!!) Talk about a nice shock to the system. H*ll, if I hadn't gone to vote, who knows how much time would have passed before I had any idea that I was breaking the law.

As I wondered why the heck I hadn't received the usual form in the mail telling me that my license was up for renewal, I handed the woman my expired license and hoped that I wouldn't be turned away because of it. Lucky for me, she didn't even turn it over to look at the expiry date. I just had to recite my name and address to her while she read along silently, and then it was off to the voting booth where I literally had to shield myself from some guy (he was a volunteer) who kept wandering over to the look out the window (the booth was positioned in front of it, towards the left hand side) every time someone went to mark their ballot.

After I got home, I called to inquire as to why I wasn't notified about my license being up for renewal, but the office was closed, so I had to wait until this morning. After an annoying game of "press (fill in the blank) for (fill in the blank)" with my telephone keypad & the charming (hardly) electronic voice, I finally got to speak with a human being. I explained my situation to the woman on the line, and she told me that I should have received a postcard reminder a few months before my birthday. Apparently they send out postcards now instead of letters and many people end up thinking it's junk mail. I politely told her that I'm very careful when I go through my mail and assured her that I never received the so-called renewal postcard. She then told me that I didn't actually need one and that all I had to do was go to a local issuing office to get my license renewed. She said it would cost $75 and reminded me that I couldn't drive with an expired license. (Gee, lady, thanks for stating the obvious, but I need to drive to get myself there.)

When I arrived at the office, I had to fill out a renewal form. As I was signing my name at the bottom, I saw that I also had to date the form, but couldn't remember whether today was the 6th or 7th of October. I glanced around the office walls for one of those large date calendars, but there wasn't one to be found. Seated on my right was a guy who was also filling out a form, so I asked him. He glanced at his watch and told me it was the 6th (I guess he must have one of those watches that also show the date), so I wrote that down and went to stand in line. Then, not even a minute later, the same guy, now also standing in line, leans over and says, "Actually, today’s date it the 7th." (Hmmm, clearly this guy needs to get his watch fixed or his eyes checked.)

When it was my turn at the counter, I handed over my form and the woman said, "Oh, you don’t have a postcard?" I told her that I'd never received one and that the only reason I even knew my license was up for renewal was because I went to vote yesterday. She said, "WOW! It’s a good thing you went to vote!" (You got that right, lady.) She then had me stand in front of the photo screen so she could take my picture. (Just what I need, another hideous photo id. Seriously, do id pictures of any kind ever turn out good?) I then stepped back to the counter to pay the $75 fee and collect the paper that would act as my temporary driver's license until my new one arrived in the mail. (It better show up.)

So, there you have it, everyone. Now you know why exercising my right to vote was a total shocker. Meanwhile, if you haven't already checked to see if your license has expired without you knowing it, you might want to do that now.

Until next time,

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Who is JB?

  • is a women who works with her mother, sister, and a bunch of other relatives in her family business (an Italian restaurant that's been around for 20 years, although family members have been working together for the last 40 years, so that's a lot of family time... way too much)
  • is a chef
  • is sometimes a mess
  • is single
  • loves cycling
  • has a secret love for writing (even though she failed English three times and had to make it up in summer school)
  • isn't perfect, yet those who love her love her forever, and those who don't usually do eventually because, as she's always said, the line between love and hate is blurred
  • loves languages
  • has only ever had French & Italian lovers
  • is an enigma, even to herself
  • never kisses and tells, unless you piss her off
  • loves to drink beer when she is relaxing, tea when she is down, and red wine to get the creative juices flowing
  • is grateful for music and movies because they keep her sane
  • is also grateful for her bike because getting away for a ride keeps her from throwing knives at her family when they're working
  • is the kind of person who, when you are in need & least expect it, will show up with some kind of care package full of stuff just for you (don't ask her how she knows you needed what she brought, she just does)

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Broken Hearts Club

I started a club called The Broken Hearts Club (not a very original name, but it fits). The problem is there's only one member -- me! It's really lonely. So, I was thinking that if anyone out there reading this knows what it feels like to be the owner of a broken heart, maybe you'd like to join me on my blog and share your story. God knows I've posted enough about my broken heart story on here. Maybe we can help one another heal.

What do you say, folks? Leave me a comment.


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Tiny Ponies

As you all know from my previous posts, I talk about my Ex a lot. I mean, she makes for some good stories. In one conversation with her, I get a good 6 stories, but I can only take them in small doses. Too much at once would send me over the edge, which is just about where I was going last week (this would be before I called & said we can’t be friends, etc), when she told me about her tiny ponies. Let me explain.

We agreed to meet & have coffee. As soon as I sat myself down, she wanted to start by telling me about these dreams she keeps having. I told her to go for it & tell me. I was anticipating something crazy, and, believe me, this French biscuit does not let you down when it comes to crazy. In fact, I swear she put the “C” in crazy. Anyway, as I was saying, she started telling me about her dreams….

My Ex: Well, I was sleeping (mmm, yeah, I figured as much), and I dreamt that I was taking care of these tiny ponies.

Me: Tiny? Like those in the zoo?

My Ex: Non, non (that’s her French), JB. The rainbow coloured ones (she said in a really excited voice), like in the kids TV show. (Here we go, all aboard her crazy coco rico train of thoughts.) (Coco rico is some French thing she says. Like I said, crazy....)

She continued by telling me that the tiny ponies were sleeping beside her on her pillow, all nice & comfortable, and she was putting little ‘blankies’ (her word for blankets, not mine) over them, and tucking them in.

My Ex: (in a really high pitched voice) I put my arms around all 12.

Me: Twelve? You stopped and counted?

My Ex: Mais, oui, (i.e. but, yes) JB. I counted, and then I hugged them all, and we sleep.

Me: Have you counted how many days it been since your last pill, petite chatte (i.e. little cat... it's her nickname)? Maybe you should take one now, and share with me because I think I may need one.

My Ex: Please, JB, not funny. You know this is serious. Je ne peux pas dormir (i.e. I can’t sleep).

Then, she gave me this serious look again. Holy cow, I thought, here it comes... and it did.

My Ex: Apres (i.e. after), I was walking my sister.

Me: You were walking your sister? Is she a dog in your dream?

My Ex: Non, non. Are you making fun of me?

Me: No, not at all, chatte. I'm listening.

My Ex: My sister, she was riding a pony.

At this point, I spit out my coffee.

My Ex: Please, JB, je suis sérieux (i.e. I am serious). Apres (i.e. after), I dream that I gave birth to 2 dead twin babies, and I was taking care of them... but they were dead. Is this not strange. (Is this not strange? H*ell, yes! WTF?!)

Well, this was it for me. An hour had gone by, and I really needed to get out of there. So, I told her I was getting on my tiny pony, and taking my a** to work.

Needless to say, after that conversation, I knew it was time to cut the ties that bind, get that French biscuit back on the train to Nowhere Ville de France, and say au revoir, ma chatte, au revoir. Translation: Goodbye, my cat, goodbye. Maybe next time she’ll dream of fairies and orange bottomed monkeys.

Mon Dieu!

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